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MND storyline on Shortland Street


25 July 2023


TV shows can be a powerful tool, helping to illustrate how various diseases and conditions impact on a person and their loved ones when woven into a storyline.

When done well, the storyline can improve the public’s understanding and awareness, and in some cases may even ignite interest from researchers and medical professionals, as has been the case with the recent MND storyline on Coronation Street.

Yesterday (24 July, 2023), Shortland Street introduced 25-year-old Teina Warren who has motor neurone disease (MND), a degenerative neurological disease with no cure and no truly effective treatment.

In the story, Teina has been taking a fictional ‘miracle drug’ called Cetafim, significantly slowing down the progression of his disease. Teina’s health is in rapid decline now he can no longer afford the fictional treatment.

Shortland Street is a drama and there has to be a certain amount of creative license, but we are disappointed the team has chosen to include a miracle drug that sadly does not exist in reality, providing false hope to families affected, and misinforming the public.

MND NZ has reached out to the producers of Shortland Street to understand where they intend to take the storyline. We’ve also offered our guidance and advice to improve the accuracy of its portrayal of MND as the storyline develops, and hope the producers take us up on this offer.

In the meantime, if you’re a Shortland Street watcher, please remember that it is a fictional drama series and the portrayal of MND and treatments available will not necessarily be accurate.

For health advice, particularly in relation to medicines, please contact your health professional (for example, your GP).

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